The paper " The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas L. Friedman " is a perfect example of a book report on social science. Friedman’ s book, if it had to be summarized and analyzed with scientific rigor, would have to be shorn of the journalistic gifts and Pulitzer Prize credentials of the celebrated author. It is difficult to discount the expression of such an intrepid explorer of far-away lands, courted by icons no less than Bill Gates, and whose columns in no less than the New York Times, are read with such fervor by so many people of the democratic and capitalist world.
The struggle to filter facts from the veneer of romantic eloquence never leaves a reader for any significant part of the journey from front to back cover. This is not to suggest that Friedman’ s travails to describe the shape of the world that he shares with his ilk, is without value. It can be a soothing balm for an appendage of low productivity, hit with a cruel pink slip on a Friday afternoon.
Starving folk in West Africa will find inspiration in the joyous news of golfing in Bangalore. Pesky Hong Kong citizens who petulantly ask for freedom can rethink their blessings as vassals of their Chinese rulers. If only someone would translate this epic for Hispanic followers of Chavez and the farmworkers of California! Friedman’ s identity with the book does have its benefits as well. There are passages that put people above countries. It helps us to remember that successful people from the world of business have helped Friedman arrange his thoughts and that they celebrate the success of his writing as well.
One could have easily mistaken chapters as something written by Marx, or published after the demise of the communist by his friend Engels. The book serves to look inside the minds of those who have crested the wave of global business, dominated by the US establishment and its allies. We can begin to understand the values and beliefs of Chinese and Indian entrepreneurs, who live in royal splendor amidst oceans of grinding poverty. It is entirely symbolic that Friedman should have conceived of this book in a city so full of disparity, deprivation, and despair.
ReferencesFriedman, T. L. The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2005.